NDP leader Cam Broten responds to Lighthouse letter

February 19, 2016 - 8:17am

Dear editor:

The Sask. Party slashed funding to the Battlefords’ only homeless shelter – and while the shelter is in crisis and the community is at risk of the shelter closing, the Sask. Party’s minister of Social Services is taking time to write a letter to the editor trying to put a positive spin on the short-sighted and mean-spirited cut.

According to BattlefordsNOW, the manager of The Lighthouse said: “We received the warning (from the Ministry of Social Services) one day and the very next day our funding was cut.” She revealed that the funding was cut by a shocking 90 per cent.

There’s a very real possibility that The Lighthouse will close, and all those that rely on its services will be on the streets. That’s not right – but it’s not smart, either, since that means added pressure, and greater cost, will be forced onto police and emergency rooms.

Yet, the Sask. Party’s Minister of Social Services, Donna Harpauer, seems unworried. In fact, she took time to write a mean-spirited letter to the editor pretending the problem is a communications problem instead of a very real risk to communities and vulnerable people.

The daily rate at which homeless people are funded hasn’t changed, she wrote.

But she left out the part about the Sask. Party now denying funding for 90 per cent of the people requiring emergency shelter. 

After a decade of incredible resource boom, the Sask. Party plunged the province into deficit fast, because they failed to save for a rainy day (in fact, they drained the Rainy Day Fund).  Now, they’re not cutting their entitlements, like travel scouts; or their waste, like private consultants; or even their pet projects like Lean. Instead, they’re cutting things like front-line health care, supports for vulnerable people and teachers and educational assistants.

Their priorities don’t match Saskatchewan families’ priorities.

Cam Broten
Leader of Saskatchewan's New Democrats

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